Minisink Valley School District residents rejected the proposed $114,254,308 school budget for the 2023-24 school year in a 1,048 to 1,010 vote.
The results showed 50.92 percent of voters rejected the proposed budget.
The approved budget would have maintained all current student programs and services and included a 3.74 percent tax levy increase. That increase in the tax levy – total amount of money to be raised through property taxes – was within the New York State tax cap requirement and needed a simple majority to be approved.
When a proposed school budget is defeated at the polls, New York State law gives school boards three options. Board members may decide to put the same budget up for vote a second time, put a revised budget up for vote, or go directly to a contingency budget.
“While we are disappointed by the election results, we appreciate all community members who considered the district’s budget proposal and came out to the polls to cast their vote,” Superintendent Brian Monahan said. “At our next Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 24, we will begin to discuss the district’s options and next steps.”
May 17 update: Board of Education to hold a special meeting on Thursday, May 18
Voters also turned down Proposition 2, in a 1,075 to 975 vote, which asked voters to decide on the purchase of 15 school buses in the amount of $2,889,660. The results showed 52.44 percent of voters rejected the bus proposition.
If approved, bus purchases would have continued the district’s 10-year replacement bus plan. State aid would have covered $2,125,963, or 75 percent of the total cost. The net cost to the district, after state aid was applied, would have been $763.697.
District officials will now review transportation options with the current bus fleet for the upcoming school year.
Additionally, three Minisink Valley school district residents were elected to the Board of Education for three-year terms running July 1, 2023 through June 30. 2026.
Vote totals are:
Shawn Cahill: 1,359
Patricia M. Reynolds: 1,221
Ruth A. Luis: 1,079
Jessica Eli: 1,037